We assembled in the Royal George car park in the village of Cottingham. This Inn, dating back to the 13th century, claims to be one of the oldest Inns in England. It was named after the “Royal George”, a flagship commissioned in 1870, and has since undergone many changes and modernisation.
The Royal George is at the top of Cottingham so our path led us downhill to the Church, through a kissing gate and followed a slightly muddy path which finally brought us out in Middleton.
Crossing the main road, we took a path leading along the ridge which should have given us views across the Welland Valley, but unfortunately they were obscured by the descending mist.
A sharp left turn took us into the Country Park amongst tall beech trees. The path though slightly muddy was on the whole well-made and easy going on the slight incline. Between the trees the ground was a snowy white carpet of snow drops, a scene repeated throughout the park. The facilities here include a café, shop, play areas for kids and sculptures in the form of machinery taken from the Corby Steel Works, though what they were used for originally was a mystery.
From the grounds of the park we walked into neighbouring East Carlton. With the singing of the choir in St Peters church to our left and the munching of a herd of Reindeer in the field to our right, we made our return along the Jurassic Way, a path skirting the edge of the park. Views to our left were promised over to Corby but were again rather obscured because of the mist. We did however stopped for a group photo and a bite to eat and then continued our return to Middleton.
Taking the winding uphill road the two villages merged into one. The Royal George was now at last in sight. Most of us stayed for the Sunday lunch which was the usual choice of roasts. Everyone agreed that the meal here was excellent.